Out Rep. Becca Balint (D-VT) slammed a former Trump administration official yesterday at a House Oversight Committee hearing after she claimed that certain investment strategies can turn kids transgender.
The hearing is one of many that the GOP-controlled House is conducting on conservative bogeymen, and it was entitled “ESG Part II: The Cascading Impacts of ESG Compliance.” “ESG” refers to environmental, social, and governance standards that investment firms sometimes use to take social responsibility into account in the context of corporate governance. The GOP has said that ESG standards are a nefarious attempt to “rewire the fabric of America” to promote “woke” policies.
This is one of several moves state leaders have made this year to protect the more than 94,000 trans and nonbinary Marylanders.
“I can’t believe this is part two [of the ESG hearings],” Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) said during the hearing. “Part one was actually the stupidest hearing I’ve ever been to. And now we’re having part two.”
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“Please God, let there not be a part three.”
During the hearing, former Environmental Protection Agency official Mandy Gunasekara – who now works at the anti-LGBTQ+ Independent Women’s Forum – took Porter’s comments as a challenge and said that the purpose of ESG standards is “promoting gender transitions” in children.
“I want to know: do you really believe that garbage?” Balint asked Gunasekara.
“It’s not about believing; it’s a matter of fact,” Gunasekara said.
“Oh, so you believe that investing strategies are actually a secret, it’s weaponized to support and promote gender transition for children?” Balint asked incredulously. “Or do you just use it as another opportunity to beat up on children?”
Gunasekara said that she’s not beating up on children and said that it’s actually the people who support trans kids who are “potentially harming them.”
“I stepped out to sit down with parents of trans kids from states that have come after their kids, and now their kids can’t get the level of care that they deserve and need,” Balint explained. “And they literally said, ‘When you leave this room, could you please, the next time you’re in a room with someone bringing up yet again our children and our families as some kind of bogeyman, that you’ll actually stand up for us?'”
“I didn’t think it would take less than a half-hour,” she said. “I didn’t know that I would have such an opportunity. It feels like every single hearing that I am in, whether it is in Oversight or whether it is in Budget or whether it is in a subcommittee, somehow the witnesses find a way to bring in trans children into whatever conversation we’re trying to have here.”